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New faces but goal remains the same

Hillsboro-Central Valley's Jack Camrud blocks a shot during last week's N.D. Region 2 tournament at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Photo/Eric Hylden, Grand Forks Herald

When Tyler Bergstrom's family moved from Sidney, Neb., to Hillsboro last summer, Bergstrom was leaving a basketball program that played in the state tournament the past few seasons. He was leaving a football program that had been a state playoff participant.

"I didn't care about that,'' the senior said. "We had family here. (Moving) wasn't that big of a deal. And I love the change.''

As it has turned out, Bergstrom stepped from one strong athletic program to another.

He was an all-state lineman for Hillsboro-Central Valley's Class A high school football championship team last fall. Now he's a key reserve on the 23-1 Burros basketball team that is the No. 1 seed in the Class B state tournament and attempting to win its second straight state title this week in Bismarck.

"I knew they'd won state in basketball when we came,'' Bergstrom said. "After we started practicing, I knew we could do this. It was the same in football.''

The 6-foot-4 Bergstrom is part of the changing face of H-CV basketball.

Hillsboro-CV coach Elliot Rotvold said the Burros have been guard oriented the past five seasons. Last season's state championship had 6-foot-5 Jack Camrud in the post and four guard/small forward types rounding out the lineup.

Camrud is back and averaging 14 points and 14.7 rebounds. Senior 6-5 Cade Baesler (10.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg) also starts. Bergstrom is fourth on the team in scoring (7.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg).

"It's a completely different team than we had last year, or the last several years,'' Rotvold said. "With the three big guys, we're more of an inside-oriented team. Those big guys average around 32 points and 27 rebounds, and they've been pretty consistent putting up those numbers.

"We switched primarily from man-to-man to zone on defense. We're probably a better defensive team than we were last year. With the three big guys, it makes it tough for teams to score inside, or pass or shoot over us from the outside.''

Camrud is the lone returning starter from last season's state championship team. Baesler and sophomore guard Carson Henningsgard (19.7 ppg, 8 apg, 3.1 spg) played extensively in reserve roles.

"It was more of a challenge this year,'' Camrud said. "We have four new starters, and it's definitely different being more of a post-oriented offense. But when the season started so well, we thought we could do well.''

For the Burros, despite being defending state champions, there is no been-there, done-that feeling.

"It's the same feeling as last year,'' Henningsgard said. "It's great to get back. It's a new team with a lot of new faces. I don't know if many people thought we'd get back to state with only one starter returning. But I was confident. We worked hard in the offseason.''